The influx of asylum seekers and refugees from across Africa to democratic South Africa has increased significantly. The aim of this paper is to determine the factors that influence the ‘expected well-being’ of this unique group. ‘Expected well-being’ is an important determinant of both the decision to migrate and the choice of destination country. Therefore knowledge of this determinant informs refugee policies. The results show that only a few factors found in the literature to explain the ‘expected well-being’ of voluntary migrants also explain the ‘expected well-being’ of forced migrants. However, quite a number of factors found in the literature to explain the subjective well-being and well-being of refugees and asylum seekers also applied to explaining the ‘expected well-being’ of this group. These factors include: government assistance, culture, the time spent in South Africa, economic factors, crime, refugee status, the reasons for leaving their home countries and the number of people in the house. The findings of this study emphasise the differences between forced and voluntary migrants and highlights the factors that influences the ‘expected well-being’ of forced migrants. These factors in turn shed light on migration decisions and choice of destination countries.